During this globally unstable time, many of us became overnight work-at-home parents who also now homeschool our kids. No masters degree or schooling prepares you for that! 😉 As such, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and discouraged, especially in light of all the uncertainty going on in the world. Therefore, we can’t stress (pun intended) enough the importance of maintaining positive daily routines to ensure that our mental health is as strong as our physical health…for ourselves and our families. So, we wanted to share some tips to help you set and accomplish some wellness goals for you and your L’ovebugs!
Take Time to Meditate
Meditating gives you time and clarity to figure out what it is you ACTUALLY need to focus on, which, in turn, helps you create more direct or specific goals. It’s very easy to feel helpless when we look around our home and see a mess, and know that we also still have to make dinner, bathe the kids, walk the dog, and do the laundry (plus do some work for a meeting the next day if you’re also juggling working from home). When you meditate, even those 10 minutes of quiet make a big difference in giving you some tranquility so that afterward, your mind is clear enough to prioritize the most important tasks at the top, and ease up a little on the ones that will “still be there in the morning.”
Meditation also gives you time to reflect on the good things in your life that will lift you up. Action pro tip: Make time at least once a day to sit in a quiet space (even if that’s in a small closet, balcony, or part of your home that no one is occupying for about 10 minutes). We know that may be asking for a a lot with little ones at home, but consider waking up 10 minutes earlier each day for that alone time…or asking your significant other to watch the kids for 10 minutes (and then you can trade off and watch them while s/he has 10 minutes of alone time)…or better yet, set a timer for 2 minutes and see if your kids can sit QUIETLY with you for that amount of time. If so, slowly add a minute every couple of days till you work up to 10. They may fidget, but they can still be quiet if you explain the importance of it. Make it a game…have them lie on the ground…whatever it takes to get them to learn that being quiet for a few minutes a day is a healthy part of life. If all else fails, let them watch 10 minutes of TV so that you can get some time to focus your mind. 😉
Then, just close your eyes and meditate on your most important goals for that day or week, plus at least 1 thing you are proud of (it doesn’t have to be something monumental! It can be that you were patient with the kids the day before, or that you were on your phone 15 minutes less than what is typical for you). Just think of SOMETHING that you are proud of and may have overlooked. Do this for at least 10 minutes a day and let us know how you feel next week!
Set Simple Organization/Cleaning Goals
Now that most of us are homebound, it’s easy to feel like a failure when you can’t find the time to get your home as clean and organized as you’d like (and looking at “perfection” in the little squares on Instagram will often only make you feel worse). So, first, understand that what you see on Instagram is similar to the Wizard of Oz effect in that you see only what someone wants you to see…and not the mess and chaos ensuing in the rest of the house! 😉 To clarify: you don’t see the nervous little bald man behind the curtain; you just hear the booming and confident voice of the all-knowing Wizard of Oz when you look at those pictures of perfection on Instagram.
So…here’s a tip: get off IG for 20 minutes and go organize something! But don’t feel like you have to organize/clean the ENTIRE house at once. While that’s nice, it’s not always doable. So, break it up into more manageable goals. For example: set an easier organization goal like getting ONE room or ONE closet organized this week or month. The goal is to be realistic about what you can get done in the limited free time you have. For some of you, this might be easier these days IF your significant other is home and can help you with cleaning/organizing/watching the kiddos. For others, it might be a little tougher if that significant other has to work from home and requires quiet and no kiddos around. (And if that’s the case, stay tuned because we have some upcoming blog posts dedicated to activities you can do at home with children). No matter what, do not feel like a failure if your house is not as perfect as you’d like it to be.
Get Outside Daily
Stepping outside can feel so rejuvenating for your mind, body and soul. (Yes, you should still practice social distancing, but as long as you do so, the fresh air of the outdoors is still free and up for grabs!) Make it a goal to get outside daily for a walk or to do some gardening (even if it’s on a little balcony with some potted plants or seeds you’ve planted with the kids). It’s important to change up your environment and get out of the house for a nice walk down the street or around the block. You will feel refreshed with the change of scenery and can play fun games with the little ones to keep them safe and near you during your walk (see our Activities to Do With Kids blog later this week for some fun ideas/games).
Just remember that kids, too, need to take a break from their daily activities and homework, especially now that schools are closed and they are not getting their usual recess, lunch, and outdoor P.E. time. Some neighborhoods have even started hanging rainbow pictures or teddy bears in their windows and/or gardens to bring some cheer and solidarity to all those walking by. Consider bringing this idea to YOUR neighborhood so that you can feel accomplished and proud of putting into action this uplifting message of hope. Stay well, friends!